Siler, Magdalene J., Ph.D.
Magdalene J. Seiler, Ph.D.
Primary research focus is retinal sheet transplantation and demonstration of vision restoration in rat models of retinal degeneration and ultimately in retinal degeneration patients. See also lab website at http://sites.uci.edu/seilerlab/magdalenejseiler.
My primary scientific interests are in retinal transplantation, retinal degeneration models, retinal development, stem cells and neurotrophic factors. Along with my colleague, Dr. Robert Aramant, I have developed and refined a unique procedure of retinal sheet transplantation which has demonstrated improvement of visual responses in four different retinal degeneration models (RCS rats, rd mice, rhodopsin S334ter-3 and -5 rat models of fast and slow retinal degeneration). This lead to Phase I and II clinical trials that showed visual improvement in RP and AMD patients.
In 2014, I received a 3-year Early Translational grant from CIRM with the goal of developing human embryonic stem cells to transplantable 3-D sheets of retinal progenitor cells for vision restoration. We have now demonstrated that stem-cell derived retina can improve visual responses in 2 different immunodeficient rat models with retinal degeneration that do not reject human cells. This research is done in collaboration with Dr. Hans Keirstead (at UC Irvine until 2014; now CEO of AIVITA Biomedical, Irvine) who is the Co-PI on the CIRM grant.